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It’s time to present alternative FAQs

Posted by Dan Hatch on 24th May , 2022 in The Write Fit
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Does your website have an FAQ page? Lots of companies do. Any web designer will tell you customers love FAQs.

If you have one, what’s on yours?

  • A heap of dull disclaimers, policies, and other legal info?
  • A grab bag of information you weren’t sure where else to put?
  • Answers to questions you really do get asked frequently?

Chances are it’s a combination of all three. FAQ pages can all too easily become a dumping ground for random pieces of information.

We might not like to admit it, because we feel like an FAQ page is a signal to customers that we’re a helpful brand, but an FAQ page is basically any website’s graveyard. They’re populated by little headstones with question marks at the end.

If an FAQ page is genuinely providing answers customers want to know all the time, then surely these are some of the most important pieces of information on your company’s website?

That being the case, there’s strong argument that even having an FAQ page is a sign there are real problems with a company’s content marketing strategy and/or website design. If a customer is going to an FAQ page, it’s because you’ve failed to provide the information they need where they need it.

Far from being helpful, the argument goes, an FAQ page is effectively poor customer service. Think of it from the customer’s perspective. They couldn’t find the info they wanted where they needed it, so they clicked on the FAQ page as a last resort, then had to trawl through a list of questions to see if their query was answered there.

That search also interrupts a purchase decision (possibly at the very last minute, as your customer goes in search of your shipping policy, for example). Disaster!

So, should you be deleting your FAQ page?

Not necessarily. Google does actually crawl FAQ pages and if your answer is concise and complete, it could still drive organic traffic to your website. But:

  • You absolutely should audit your web content and answer your FAQs on the pages where your customers need to have that information at their fingertips
  • You should mine your FAQ page for content ideas and write authoritative long-form pieces of content to answer your customer’s questions in depth
  • You should supercharge your FAQs by linking out from each question to the more detailed answer on your blog post or landing page.

 

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The above is just one small part of our fortnightly newsletter. It’s jam-packed with excellent advice, tips and news for anyone who writes for their business. Get your own copy here:

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This is an excerpt from the 67th edition of The Write Fit, a fortnightly newsletter about writing, editing and proofreading, content marketing and good editorial practices for business, from Sarah Mitchell and Dan Hatch at Typeset.

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